Nfld. & Labrador·First Listen

Dealing with loss, singer/songwriter Selina Boland goes into The Cold

Singer-songwriter Selina Boland has had a rough time dealing with the death of her mother, the musician Laverne Squires, and Boland's new album is a way for her to work through this chapter of her life.

Have a First Listen to The Cold by Selina Boland

Selina Boland's new album is called The Cold. (Submitted by Selina Boland)

"I'll be honest, it's been really rough," said singer/songwriter Selina Boland.

"There's not a loss quite like it, the connection between mother and daughter." 

Boland's mother, Laverne Squires, died in 2016.

Squires was a well-known musician in Newfoundland and Labrador in the 1960s and 1970s. Her work with Lukey's Boat and other bands, merging local folk traditions with rock music, is considered to be pivotal in the province's cultural renaissance.

I just needed to get these out and documented, because this really was like closing a certain chapter of my life.- Selina Boland

Mother and mentor

Boland had a close relationship with Squires, both as a mother and as a mentor.  

"She [Squires] wrote out on a sheet of paper, three sets of seven songs," said Boland.

"She's like, 'That's your goal, have 21 songs so if you ever need to do a full show you can do it,'" recalled Boland.

And Squires also advised to "never play for free."

Hear Selina Boland talk about music and her mother: 

Singer/songwriter Selina Boland tells Heather how she worked through a winter of grief and loss by creating the album, The Cold. 17:35

A certain chapter

Boland's new album, The Cold, consists of songs she wrote shortly before and after her mother's death.

She recorded them one December in her apartment, on the top floor of a drafty Victorian house in downtown St. John's.

"I just needed to get these out and documented, because this really was like closing a certain chapter of my life,"  said Boland.

She feels that the album has her mother's blessing.

"She [Squires] actually heard the song The Cold, and she really liked it."

A little warmth

The album has also made Boland's day-to-day life a bit warmer.  

Her landlord heard an early version of the song The Cold online, and approached Boland with a question.

"He said, 'Selina, the song The Cold, is this about the cold apartment?'" recalled Boland.

"And I said 'Why, yes, it is!'"

Boland's landlord replaced her windows and gave her a discount on her rent.

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About the Author

Heather Barrett is the host and producer of Weekend AM on CBC Radio One in Newfoundland and Labrador.

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